CanesAvs102513

Game 11 By the Numbers: Hurricanes at Avalanche

Aside from Thursday night's game against Minnesota, all of Carolina's regulation losses this year have been pretty lousy performances by the entire team and the beating they took from the Colorado Avalanche last night was no exception. Sure, the Hurricanes made the shot count close in the third period, but that only happened because the Avs had a 2-3 goal cushion for most of the game and pretty much had it won, barring a monumental collapse. This team has shown the ability to battle back from an early deficit but the slow starts are a serious problem. They can't expect to be a competitive team if they continue to spot their opponents the first 1-2 goals and play catch-up for the next 20-40 minutes. This has been the case for the Hurricanes in four of the last five games and it's really starting to be an ugly trend.

Some might be willing to give them a pass for last night because they were playing the second half of a back-to-back on the road (in the high altitude nonetheless) with an injured roster, but these struggles aren't new. The Canes have had the tendency to look sluggish out of the gate all season long and it really doesn't matter who or where they play. Although, giving up nearly 20 shots on goal to a weak possession team in Colorado might have been a new low.

It's nice to see the Canes actually fight back after falling behind early in games but the fact that they constantly wind up in these positions is very troubling to say the least. You can't start off every game getting outshot & outchanced, especially when playing in front of you're third string goalie. If the Canes continue this trend, then it could be a very long season. The resiliency from this club is nice to see, but the first period struggles are a serious problem.

Fenwick Timeline from Extra Skater

If you're thought after watching the game was that the Hurricanes took the first 40 minutes off and woke up in the third then you would be 90% right. Carolina actually generated some decent pressure early in the game but gave up a goal in transition and then completely fell apart after that. The Avs then pummeled the Hurricanes at even strength and didn't let up until after they took a three goal lead…which was all the way in the third period when it was too late. So yeah…chalk this one up as a lousy/forgettable game for Carolina.

Scoring Chances

Period Total 5v5 PP 5v3 SH 3v5 4v4 EN
1 6 11 5 9 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 3 3 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 8 7 5 4 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 17 21 13 16 4 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Carolina gave up 11 chances in the first period. For some perspective, they allowed only 13 chances to the Minnesota Wild and the New York Islanders in the two games before last night. Carolina's defense has improved quite a bit from where it was last season, but this was just an awful performance, as they could not contain the Avalanche's forwards at all. The only real silver lining here is that they were able to produce a decent amount of offense, although the amount of chances they gave up made that null & void. It's sort of a miracle that Carolina lost by only two goals when you consider that they had an AHL goalie in net.

Hurricanes Individual Scoring Chances

# Player 5v5 PP SH
4 Andrej Sekera 17:34 7 5 2:51 1 0 3:00 0 4
5 Mike Komisarek 9:42 3 5 0:00 0 0 0:30 0 0
6 Tim Gleason 15:33 2 4 0:00 0 0 1:46 0 4
7 Ryan Murphy  21:08 3 7 3:09 3 0 0:04 0 1
8 Kevin Westgarth 6:06 0 3 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
11 Jordan Staal 15:55 6 5 4:07 3 0 2:26 0 4
12 Eric Staal 15:24 4 5 4:33 4 0 0:46 0 1
14 Nathan Gerbe 14:40 4 3 2:07 0 0 0:00 0 0
15 Tuomo Ruutu 15:55 4 6 1:53 1 0 0:09 0 0
16 Elias Lindholm 12:25 2 5 0:01 0 0 0:00 0 0
18 Radek Dvorak 7:49 3 4 0:00 0 0 0:13 0 0
19 Jiri Tlusty 15:51 4 2 1:52 1 0 1:06 0 3
20 RIley Nash 11:29 3 4 0:00 0 0 0:52 0 0
21 Drayson Bowman 12:46 4 3 2:07 0 0 0:00 0 0
27 Justin Faulk 19:36 6 5 3:27 3 0 1:35 0 1
28 Alexander Semin  16:58 5 5 3:53 4 0 0:06 0 0
42 Brett Sutter 6:14 0 3 0:00 0 0 0:39 0 0
65 Ron Hainsey 16:15 5 6 0:00 0 0 1:17 0 1
35 Justin Peters  48:16 13 16 6:00 4 0 4:04 0 5

Best EV Forward: Jiri Tlusty +2

Worst EV Forwards: Elias Lindholm, Brett Sutter & Kevin Westgarth -3

Best EV Defenseman: Andrej Sekera +2

Worst EV Defenseman: Ryan Murphy -4

Muller's line juggling in the third period caused the chance counts to look a little weird, but the general vibe I got from this game was that Jordan Staal was the Hurricanes best player. He had the primary assist on Drayson Bowamn's goal and was one of Carolina's only forwards that could sustain a forecheck. It's not a coincidence that the first line came to life after he was moved there. I'm not sure if we'll see the Canes continue to use that line, but it was effective for them in the third period last night and possibly a sneak peak into the future of the club.

Moving Jordan to the first line helped salvage an otherwise forgettable night for that unit, as they produced five chances in the third period alone, four of them coming off the stick of Alexander Semin.  Three of those chances came on the power play but still, both Staal brothers and Semin ended the game with very strong shot differentials and most of that was accumulated during the third period when they were playing together. Jiri Tlusty also had a nice game in terms of being able to tilt the ice in the Canes favor and he advantage of having a few shifts with the "new" first line.

As for everyone else, they all played very poorly. The absence of Jeff Skinner destroyed the third line, as Nash, Dvorak and Ruutu all had rough games defensively and the fourth line was a complete liability. Jordan's promotion allowed the Canes to use Elias Lindholm as the "second line" center and I was pretty glad that happened because keeping him in the NHL to be a fourth liner would be a complete waste. He seemed to play a lot better with Bowman & Tlusty and that's not too much of a surprise because anyone would have been an upgrade over Sutter & Westgarth. This might be a line we see the Canes roll out in some future games, especially if they want to keep Jordan on the first unit.

The defense underwent some changes and it didn't really work out for the better. Outside of Faulk & Sekera, the entire defense corps was outchanced and Ryan Murphy had a brutal game at even strength. His strengths on the power play will keep him in the NHL, but it might be hard for him to stay in the lineup if he keeps getting crushed in his own end in road games. Although, Mike Komisarek, who was on the ice for five Colorado EV chances in under 10 minutes of ice time, might be bad enough to stay in the press box over Murphy. Ron Hainsey also struggled last night, but Komisarek had a lot of problems defending in transition and staying on his feet, which is a recipe for disaster against a fast team like Colorado.

Avalanche Individual Scoring Chances

# Player 5v5 PP SH
5 Nate Guenin 15:44 6 7 0:00 0 0 4:00 0 4
6 Erik Johnson 19:25 4 4 1:41 2 0 0:03 0 0
7 John Mitchell 8:31 1 3 0:00 0 0 3:13 0 2
8 Jan Hejda 19:25 6 4 0:02 1 0 3:41 0 4
9 Matt Duchene 12:47 6 7 2:38 4 0 0:00 0 0
11 Jamie McGinn 14:21 3 4 0:00 0 0 0:19 0 0
15 PA Parenteau 15:24 3 4 1:14 1 0 0:00 0 0
16 Cory Sarich 14:11 2 2 0:00 0 0 1:57 0 0
17 Steve Downie 13:08 5 7 2:44 4 0 0:00 0 0
24 Marc-Andre Cliché 4:42 1 0 0:00 0 0 2:22 0 3
26 Paul Stastny 16:56 6 2 1:26 1 0 1:58 0 2
29 Nathan Mackinnon 11:56 3 2 1:20 1 0 0:00 0 0
40 Alex Tanguay 16:19 6 1 2:33 2 0 0:56 0 0
44 Ryan Wilson 15:45 8 7 0:15 0 0 2:16 0 0
58 Patrick Bordeleau 4:44 1 0 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
61 Andre Benoit 15:22 6 2 2:23 0 0 0:03 0 0
90 Ryan O'Rielly 13:41 6 8 2:38 4 0 2:42 0 1
92 Gabriel Landeskog   17:19 7 1 1:26 1 0 0:30 0 0
1 Semyon Varlamov  49:56 16 13 4:04 5 0 6:00 0 4

Best EV Forward: Gabriel Landeskog +6

Worst EV Forwards; John Mitchell, Steve Downie & Ryan O'Rielly -2

Best EV Defenseman: Andre Benoit +4

Worst EV Defenseman: Nate Guenin -1

Matt Duchene's scoring line speaks for itself, but the line that really destroyed Carolina last night was Landeskog-Statsny-Tanguay. They nailed Carolina with six scoring chances and had the Canes pinned into their own end whenever they were on the ice. Duchene's line also produced a lot of offense, but they gave up a decent amount of chances in their own end, as well. Landeskog, Statsny & Tanguay played as good of an all-around game as you will ever see and gave the Hurricanes trouble all night. Duchene did do a lot of damage on the power play, though.

Head-to-Head at Five-on-Five

Stastny's line blew away everything the Hurricanes put up against them and that includes both Staal lines. They also crushed the Faulk/Sekera pairing, who they spent a good chunk of the game matched up against. It looks like the Hurricanes made up for it by doing a number on Duchene's line, but this is a tad misleading. Yes, they created a lot of chances against this unit but they also gave up a lot, as well. Much like the Wild did last night, the Avs used the last change to their advantage and were able to get Duchene away from the Staals on numerous occasions, resulting in them creating a lot of chances and exposing players like Komisarek, Nash & Dvorak.

The Avs defense seemed to play a very solid game all-around, though as their top-four was able to keep the Hurricanes forwards in check at even strength. 

5v5 Zone Entries

Hurricanes

Player # of entries Shots generated Carry-ins Shots generated Dump-ins Shots generated Failed Entries
Sekera 2 2 0 0 2 2 0
Komisarek 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
Gleason 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Murphy 3 2 2 2 1 0 1
Westgarth 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J. Staal 6 6 5 6 1 0 0
E. Staal 3 1 2 1 1 0 3
Gerbe 5 5 3 5 2 0 0
Ruutu 4 2 3 2 1 0 0
Lindholm 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
Dvorak 2 2 1 1 1 1 1
Tlusty 3 1 1 0 2 1 0
Nash 4 2 2 1 2 1 0
Bowman 3 0 2 0 1 0 0
Faulk 3 0 0 0 3 0 0
Semin 8 3 5 2 3 1 0
Sutter 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
Hainsey 2 1 0 0 2 1 0
Team 50 27 26 20 24 7 8

Once again, Jrodan Staal and Nathan Gerbe were the ones leading the way in the neutral zone for Carolina. This is why I liked having Jordan on the first line while the Canes were pressing for offense. His point total might be underwhelming, but his ability to carry the puck in regularly usually results in the Hurricanes generating a lot of zone time & shot attempts, which should lead to good things in the future. We saw that on his first goal and in the third period while he was on a line with Alex Semin. Speaking of which, Semin had a strong game in the neutral zone but his entries weren't resulting in many shots, which is a little odd when you consider that he had five individual chances. Although, it wouldn't surprise me if most of them came off entries by Jordan or Eric.

I'd also like to point out that Ryan Murphy was the only defenseman on the team to carry the puck into the zone last night…which is another reason why I think he'll stay on the team even if his chance differential stays poor.

Avalanche

Player # of entries Shots generated Carry-ins Shots generated Dump-ins Shots generated Failed Entries
Guenin 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Johnson 2 0 2 0 0 0 0
Mitchell 4 2 2 1 2 1 0
Hejda 1 0 0 0 1 0 1
Duchene 9 5 8 5 1 0 1
McGinn 5 3 3 2 2 1 0
Parenteau 7 8 4 5 3 3 0
Sarich 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
Downie 5 3 3 3 2 0 0
Cliché 1 1 1 1 0 0 0
Stastny 5 2 3 2 2 0 0
Mackinnon 4 2 2 2 2 0 0
Tanguay 5 2 3 2 2 0 0
Wilson 3 1 1 1 2 0 0
Bordeleau 1 0 0 0 1 0 2
Benoit 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
O'Reilly 2 0 0 0 2 0 1
Landeskog 11 5 7 5 4 0 0
Team 67 34 39 29 28 5 5

The Avalanche had control on 58% of their 5v5 entries, which is what you'd expect from a fast team with a lot of skilled forwards. They had a lot of success when they carried the puck in and their top two lines were rarely forced to dump the puck in. Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog led the way in this department with 15 combined controlled entries and PA Parenteau also had an impressive game with four carry-ins. So basically, all three of the Avs had at least one player who could gain the line with control on a regular basis. That kind of forward depth is going to be a nightmare for opponents to deal with.

5v5 Zone Exits

Hurricanes

# Player Pos. Touches Carry Pass Other Turnover Icing
4 Andrej Sekera D 17 1 7 0 1 0
5 Mike Komisarek D 8 0 1 0 0 0
6 Tim Gleason D 8 0 2 1 0 0
7 Ryan Murphy D 17 1 2 0 2 0
8 Kevin Westgarth R 5 1 0 0 0 0
11 Jordan Staal C 6 2 1 0 0 0
12 Eric Staal C 9 5 0 0 0 0
14 Nathan Gerbe C 6 0 1 0 2 0
15 Tuomo Ruutu R 8 1 1 0 1 0
16 Elias Lindholm C 3 0 0 0 1 0
18 Radek Dvorak R 5 1 1 0 1 0
19 Jiri Tlusty C 4 0 1 0 0 0
20 RIley Nash C 7 0 2 0 1 0
21 Drayson Bowman L 3 0 0 0 0 0
27 Justin Faulk D 22 3 4 2 0 0
28 Alexander Semin R 7 2 0 2 0 0
42 Brett Sutter L 1 0 0 0 1 0
65 Ron Hainsey D 17 0 1 0 2 1

As a whole, Carolina's defense corps advanced the puck on 28.1% of their 5v5 zone exit attempts. That looks solid, but it's boosted from Sekera & Faulk's performance. Without them, the Canes had only 8 successful advances and four turnovers on 50 touches. That isn't good at all. Obviously, you can't discount the great work done by Hainsey/Sekera but Carolina's other defense pairings could not advance teh puck out of their own end to save their lives. Ron Hainsey & Ryan Murphy had their worst games of the season, Tim Gleason barely handled the puck and Mike Komisarek was his usual self. That results in some ugly zone exit numbers for Carolina's defense corps.

Avalanche

# Player Pos. Touches Carry Pass Other Turnover Icing
5 Nate Guenin D 11 0 2 0 1 0
6 Erik Johnson D 32 0 8 0 1 1
7 John Michell C 6 2 2 0 0 0
8 Jan Hejda D 30 0 3 2 2 0
9 Matt Duchene C 5 1 0 0 0 0
11 Jamie McGinn L 3 0 1 0 0 0
15 PA Parenteau R 4 2 0 0 0 0
16 Cory Sarich D 21 0 5 0 1 1
17 Steve Downie R 7 1 3 1 1 0
24 Marc-Andre Cliché   4 1 0 0 0 1
26 Paul Statsny C 4 0 2 0 0 0
29 Nathan MacKinnon C 6 2 1 0 2 0
40 Alex Tanguay L 5 3 1 0 0 0
44 Ryan Wilson D 13 1 4 0 1 0
58 Patrick Bordeleau L 1 0 0 0 0 0
61 Andre Benoit D 19 0 3 0 1 0
90 Ryan O'Reilly C 10 0 3 0 0 0
92 Gabriel Landeskog L 13 4 2 0 1 0

Colorado's defense did a pretty good job in their own end even if they didn't get the puck out as much as they liked. No player had more than two defensive zone turnovers and they had a pretty solid performance out of Erik Johnson, who was heavily relied on for breakouts. Cory Sarich was also very good at exiting the zone, which surprised me a little because I never saw this as one of his strong suits. 

 

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